In the digital age, information is available at our disposal in various forms and from a range of different mediums. For a parent, the most important information of all is the knowledge that their children are safe at any given point in time. Thankfully, advances in technology have made this task far easier than ever before. For instance, many children nowadays have their very own smartphones which parents often use to check up on them. Aside from phones, however, several GPS devices can be used to track a child and ensure their safety even when you do not have eyes on them.
Tracking your child with a GPS device
Should you choose to equip yourself – and your kid – with a GPS device for tracking purposes, then you should start by becoming more familiar with what such devices are capable of.
The rapid expansion of the wearable market resulted in the revitalization of a few niche areas. Child safety was amongst the leading ones as a multitude of different devices have now entered the market. As most of these devices vary widely in the features that they offer, you can expect varying price tags too.
For instance, some of these use Bluetooth instead of GPS in an effort to cut down costs. Of course, such devices offer limited functionality when compared to fully-fledged GPS trackers. More specifically, their range is often limited to 40-90 feet, and they do not include more advanced features such as geofencing or real-time tracking.
Below you will find examples from two of the best devices currently available in the market.
Going against the usual trends, the second version of the Trax is actually cheaper as well as better overall. The device, which easily fits into your palm, is not the best-looking but its functionality more than makes up for it. In fact, its companion app is one of the most advanced in the market.
Trax Play can be clipped on belts, clothes, and even collars for tracking your pets. Alternatively, you can simply drop it in your children’s backpacks. This allows the device to remain hidden and reduces the chance that the little ones will mess with the device or remove it from their clothes.
The app allows you to track your child in real-time while simultaneously mapping their movement. For nearby searches, you can even use augmented reality to enhance your searching. While moving your camera around, the app will simply point towards the location of your child without the need to pull up maps as an augmented reality compass of sorts.
Furthermore, the app allows you to set multiple geofenced locations. When your child wanders outside of those, you will get an instant alert, and you will be able to track their movements on the spot. Setting geofences around your home and your child’s school, for instance, will allow you always to know where your kid is.
The only downside is that you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee to use the data service. For a 24-month subscription, the monthly cost breaks down to a mere $4, so if the app and tracker work well for you, then it is quite a small price to pay.
Amber Alert GPS Child Tracker
The Amber Alert Tracker takes a decisively different approach and covers an even more specific niche than Trax Play. You see, this tracker can pull up information from Megan’s Law National Sex Offender Database and instantly send you an email or push notification whenever your child comes anywhere within 500 ft. of a registered sex offender.
Like similar devices, this tracker can easily be placed in a backpack and even comes with a carrying pouch. Moreover, the package includes a wrist/ankle pouch so children can carry it on them at all times.
Aside from that, the app allows you to designate yourself and up to 10 other users as guardians. Then, when the child presses the SOS button on the tracker, a message will be instantly sent to all users. The device even allows for two-way calling so you can always be in touch with your children.
In addition to that, Amber Alert includes a primary geofencing feature as well as the ability to send email alerts or push notifications whenever it detects that it is traveling in a car (based on the speed).
Once again, such services require a monthly subscription cost. For the Amber Alert, there are two subscription tiers: $15 for 30 minutes and 150 text messages or $18 for the same minutes and 300 texts.
Alternative tracking via in-built GPS in smartphones
Although it is a debatable topic that should a kid have a cell phone or not, if you do not wish to invest in a third-party GPS tracking device, then you might simply opt to keep track of your child through their cell phone. There are several apps available for this purpose, many of which can be acquired completely free of charge.
The difference between free and paid apps is that free apps have limited functionalities. Free apps usually do not offer geofencing capabilities, rarely allow for two-way communication, and rely on active participation from the user. However, they require little technical expertise so you can have a system up and running in no time.
The reality of today is that our children often find themselves unaccompanied, either because they participate in multiple extracurricular activities or because we lead busy lives and cannot always keep an eye out for them.
Since the technology to take care of our children exists and is readily available, taking advantage of it makes a lot of sense. Do not be alarmed by the denomination of ‘GPS tracker’; the systems of today are easy-to-use, affordable, and will provide you with instant peace of mind.